Today my mother and I quested to the south end of the island. We were looking for a road that led to a spring and an orchard, a small red line on the bottom of our map. We consulted our island guide, Ken, but he’d never been. He’s been to the outer islands, where nobody lives, and has a great knowledge of them, but not this little track in the woods. So naturally, I was interested.

It was a long and windy drive down “East Side,” which is one of the less interesting names for the roads on the island. The King’s Highway bisects the eastern half, and is the only paved street. (The King was not an actual king, but King Strang, who was “King” of the Mormon sect that lived here). Paid Een ‘Ogs road is my favorite. Some people pronounce it “padge-een-ot” road, but others prefer the more obvious. Most tracks and trails are named after the people that created them, or the people who most frequented them. Our trip to the beach yesterday brought us down Mrs. Redding’s Trail, so named for the woman that walked it every single day on her way to market in town at the north end of the island. Today we were looking for Kilty’s hill and Kilty’s point, probably so named for whomever once lived there. As we finally came to the turn for the south end of the island, we struggled to find the turn off towards our destination, and quested up many driveways. After our third turnaround, we briefly gave up and decided to explore Martin’s Bluff (the Martins were obviously a huge family, because much of the island is named after them).

The high bluff over the waves was beautiful and sheltered from the southwest wind. The waves came in to shore at a beautiful angle, and the wind tossed around the big pines. We feared a few times that a limb might come crashing down on us, so strong were the gusts. Someone left a strange tribute to an imagined hero. And we explored a tiny old cabin, whose doorstep had long ago rotted away.


We DID find the road eventually, but it turned out to be a private drive, littered with “NO TRESSPASSING” signs. Had it been earlier in the day, and I less tired, I might have walked further down it, but I was afraid, especially in October (hunting season) of being shot. So I gave up, and we went hunting for other oddities.

We visited Nomad camp, one of my mother’s favorite spots on the island. It’s a private residence, but because it’s for sale, we were able to visit. Apparently in the 1940’s, it was a very popular dance hall. Someone had spent a great deal of time making little homes for its avian residents, and they had quite the pack of dogs there at one time. I found it a bit creepy, but Mom always says if she had more money she would buy it.

The view is very pretty, I guess.

We stopped at a huge Mormon barn, with logs so big it must have taken dozens of people to assemble it. It stands just as it did all those years ago, and I believe it will probably still be standing a hundred years from now.

Then we stopped at what used to be a home in a field, just as the sun was getting low in the sky. You could still make out the staircase, and the lath where the plaster would have been. I like the way the old studs stick into the sky, and the way the nails that would have held the siding on poke out like spines. Look out for what used to be the well, however.

There was a big pear tree, which was a nice find, if the owner wouldn’t mind us picking a few. Tiny pears, and hard as rocks. Maybe in a few days they’ll be ready. A big apple tree with near perfect apples, of which Mom liberated a dozen or so.